Are you looking for a spot where you can enjoy nature and a hike with beautiful scenes? The beautiful Jarogo waterfall is one of the best waterfalls in swat valley. But, how to reach Jarogo waterfall Swat without a local guide? In this comprehensive survival guide, I will be sharing all the information that is needed to reach the Jarogo meadows and waterfall.
It is located in the Matta Tehsil in Swat District, the Jarogo valley is at a distance of approximately 50km from Mingora. The valley has a beautiful trek that takes you to a meadow and another trek that takes you to the Jarogo Waterfall. In the winter, the consistent snowfall in the area converts the lavish green trek to a whitish gorgeous area. While in the summer season, the trek is all green and easy to hike. The trek duration is approximately 1.5 to 2hrs without snow and the difficulty level is easy. The addition of snow will make the trek slightly slippery and more time-consuming.
Jarogo waterfall location
Start of the journey!
We started our journey from Islamabad to Swat on 6th January 2023 at 1930hrs in our private vehicle. We were at Kanju Township by 2300hrs where we stayed at a hotel. In the morning at 0900hrs we left from Kanju to Beha in Hiace. Beha was the gathering point for the group. The group was very diverse and consisted of 20 people. From there onwards, there will be no market or stores, so all the remaining supplies that would be required during the excursion were bought from there. We gathered at Beha and booked two 4×4 vehicles for carrying out the luggage and the group to the trek starting point.
From Beha to Jarogo Trek Starting Point
That is where our luck played its part, the vehicle which was supposed to take us to the trek starting point broke down just 5 minutes after we started our journey. Instead of wheels, we were now walking toward Jarogo valley. Our other peers who were with us when the vehicle broke down embarked in another car, the driver of the car didn’t stop for us as his vehicle was already overloaded. Four of us, including the 02 of us, were now left behind from the group. We walked for around 40 minutes on the steep roads of Jarogo. The vehicle that carried the luggage came back and stopped for us. The gentleman took us on board and dropped us off where he dropped the others. We were now finally back with the crew.
It was around 1300hrs. We were surrounded by mountains with whitish tips and the sound of the river was adding up to the scene. Through the use of a tiny gas cylinder, the boiled beef was converted to beef qorma by the addition of tomatoes and water from the river. The group had lunch and now it was time to start the trek. Before starting the trek, the team lead gathered everyone in a circle and shared the rules for this journey.
He emphasized that we should stay in a group with one nominated person leading it from the front and the other lagging to ensure that no one gets separated from the group. He added that we should support each other during the hike and should not disturb the privacy of the local habitant of the valley. After the talk, everyone introduced himself and the journey to the top started at 1400hrs.
The Jarogo meadows and waterfall hike
The discipline of the hike was a treat to watch, with everyone walking in a line supporting each other. Such an excursion teaches you a lot about discipline and humility. All the members of the group were of different backgrounds and statuses, but all were being treated equally with no chagrin in any one eye.
After 30 minutes of the hike, the snow started and as we were moving to the top, the intensity of the snow kept on increasing. We reached the top in 2 hrs. We witnessed the conversion of a yellowish meadow to a pure white one in just a span of 5 minutes. The intensity of the snow kept on increasing as time passes. There was a small wooden room at the top where our night of the trip was planned.
Obviously, there were no lights and charging points in the room, we all were heavily dependent on the great marvel of technology, our cell phones and flashlights. The floor was heavily cold, we laid our sleeping mats and sleeping bags, hung our wet (due to snow) jackets, socks, and uppers on the wooden beams of the room, and then went into our cozy hot sleeping bags to rest for a while. The porters and organizer were preparing a vegetable soup by melting snow and vegetables brought from the world below. A hot bowl of soup was the need of the situation.
After having multiple bowls of soup, we attempted to take a small nap. We were woken up at 2000hrs by the other group member because guess what, the Bar B Q was ready. Basically, the same room was our kitchen and sleeping spot, the smoke was not making things comfortable but it was a part of the survival. We had a barbeque and then went out at the night. The snow stopped but due to the absence of wind, it was not that much cold.
After dinner, the majority of the crew went to sleep, and some of us went to the roof and lit the fire. The roof was not open to the sky it was covered with a wooden tapered top with small openings. We sat here for a while.
The arrival of guests – Wildlife of Jarogo Banda
After a few minutes, one of the porters came rushing to us and said he saw some wild animals outside. We used our torches to see the wild animals from the small openings and witnessed two jackals who were roaming just outside our room. Upon seeing the light from the torches, they went away. We got down, entered our room, and block the way with a heavy stone to ensure they do not enter the hut. It was around 2300hrs and then we went to sleep.
We are used to sleeping in a soft comfy bed in our warm blanket with a nice soft and warm pillow. Obviously, the night would not have been easy considering that we also witnessed some jackals before going to sleep. But we were so tired that the moment we put ourselves in our sleeping bags, we slept instantaneously. The whole team was awake early in the morning, the snow has stopped and the whole ground outside was fully white.
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While the organizer and his team were making breakfast, the remaining crew was enjoying the morning and capturing memories on their cellphone. We had fried naan and red beans for breakfast. After breakfast, the whole group gathered and a motivational talk was delivered by the most senior trekker about the wonderful arrangements, the beauty of the location we were at, and the benefit of such an excursion. We captured a group photo at this beautiful location and then started marching down.
Towards Jarogo Waterfall Swat
The descent was slightly more difficult than the ascend, it was slippery due to the snow and every was careful while descending. We descended in line, one after another, supporting each other. As we were going down, it started raining. Once we reached the place where we started the hike, we secured our bags and covered them with a parachute blanket to keep them dry.
Then we started trekking towards the Jarogo waterfall. The trek was not steep but was difficult due to the snow. We sometimes had to cross frozen streams carefully to avoid breaking the ice and eventually falling into the liquid frozen water. The trek was almost 45 minutes and as we were getting closer to the waterfall, the density of rain kept on increasing. But all the efforts were totally worth it, the beauty of jargon waterfall cannot be described in simple words, it is an experience. The waterfall was liquid from the top and frozen from the bottom and surrounded by pointed ice flakes fully giving the Game of Thrones vibes. After spending time there and capturing the memories, we started our march back to the point where we left our bags. After picking up our bags, we went back to Beha in 4×4 vehicles and then returned to Kanju.
There is a reason why Swat is called the Switzerland of Pakistan. There are many places unexplored filled with extraordinary beauty and attractions for tourists. We are blessed with beautiful places in our country. The experience of visiting the unexplored with a group of wonderful people sharing the same hobby as yours and surviving in places where basic needs are not available is an experience worth acquiring. Sometimes it is good to get out of your comfort zone and improve your survival instinct. The total cost of the trip was 11,035 per person considering including the car fuel cost from Islamabad to Mingora (with 02 people in the vehicle) and dinner worth 2300Rs from Khurak Mehal (a very popular restaurant in Dir-Malakand Road). This blog post is written by Mawahid Ali Khokhar. He is a team member on the expedition and an adventure lover.